Critics and fans are in agreement; Spider-Man: Homecoming has relaunched the Spider-Man franchise with style. Tom Holland's newest incarnation of the wondrous wallcrawler has proved to be box office gold, with the film's first weekend exceeding expectations. Director Jon Watts has helped set the new Spider-Man trilogy on course to become the MCU's most successful franchise to date.
But, as much as I love the film, I have to confess that it isn't perfect. For me, one of the core problems is that the secondary characters simply aren't developed enough. As the first movie in a trilogy, that's not a massive problem; it lays the foundations for future character arcs, but this poses a problem for Homecoming as an individual film.
Perhaps the solution to this lies on the cutting room floor, where Marisa Tomei revealed that a key Aunt May scene now resides.
Here's What Happened
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Tomei discussed a scene that didn't make it past the editing room floor;
"There was something going on in the neighborhood, and there was a little girl in distress, and I saved her, and Peter saw me save her, so you kind of saw that he got part of his ethics from her … "
One of the film's key problems is that the supporting cast only exist in as much as they have an impact on Peter Parker, the main character. Spider-Man: Homecoming never really explores a secondary character's world; so, for example, we don't even know what this reinvented Aunt May does for a job. That's one reason this scene would have been tremendously effective — it would have actually depicted Aunt May as a separate person in her own right, all while offering new insight into the way Peter was brought up.
"Then I come home, and I don’t even tell him that that’s what happened, and, of course, there’s all this stuff that he’s not telling me. So he’s like, ‘How was your day?’ And I’m like, ‘It was fine,’ but really I was shaking inside because of this whole crisis that had happened in the city. I’m kind of fibbing to him, and he’s fibbing to me, and we’re living in this house together, and it was a very interesting setup. I was quite disappointed that wasn’t in there."
Now this dynamic would be fascinating. In the comics, Aunt May has always been protective of Peter — The early Spider-Man comics saw Peter only learn about the family's financial troubles when he stumbled across a stack of bills on the table, for example. May was always quite secretive and reserved, holding her own struggles back because she didn't want to over-burden her nephew. Again, we usually only saw May grieve Uncle Ben's death when she thought Peter wasn't around.
This deleted scene twists that idea in a unique direction, though, creating a hidden bond of commonality between May and Peter. Both are willing to step up as heroes when needed, and both choose to hide that fact from one another. This doesn't just show how Peter was brought up to be a hero. It also suggests where he learned to keep heroism a secret, for fear that his aunt couldn't handle the truth.
A Scene That Reinterprets The Film
I honestly feel Marvel made a mistake cutting this scene. Firstly, this would have gone a long way towards resolving Homecoming's problem with its portrayal of secondary characters. By fleshing Marisa Tomei's Aunt May out further, she would no longer just be eye candy for every adult male in the movie.
More importantly, though, this scene would reinterpret key moments throughout the film. Remember how Aunt May advises Peter that, should he ever see a superhero battle going on, he should run the other way? That takes on extra meaning because of this scene; it becomes a moment when, like any guardian who loves their child, May is essentially telling Peter to "do as I do, not as I say." Her advice becomes far more poignant, giving fresh insight into her character.
Meanwhile, the scene would also add another layer of secrecy to the family dynamic, making the ending — where May sees Peter in the #SpiderMan costume — all the more potent. This would become a moment when the secrets and lies are exposed, where both have the potential to be more real with one another than they've possibly ever been before.
#SpiderManHomecoming is a tremendous film, but it's not perfect. In this case, I honestly think Marvel cut a scene that would have been very effective indeed. It seems that Marisa Tomei agrees — probably because it added new depth to the dynamic between her character and Tom Holland's Peter Parker... and I think she was right.
Do you think this deleted scene should have stayed in the film?
(Source: The Huffington Post)